Mumbai: Following the introduction of electronic visa facility, the arrival of foreign tourists into the country could grow by 16% in 2017 compared to 11% in 2016, going by trends in the first few months of the current calendar year, said Union ministry for tourism, joint secretary, Suman Billa.
Speaking at the three-day fair of The Great Indian Tavel Bazaar – 2017 held in Jaipur, Billa attributed the primary reason for the quantum jump in foreign tourist arrivals to the introduction of electronic visa facility.
However, in Rajasthan, domestic tourists visiting Rajasthan have swelled by 18% compared to meagre 3% growth in foreign tourist arrivals in 2016, as per a joint study of FICCI and MRSS India.
The report was released as part of the three-day fair of The Great Indian Tavel Bazaar – 2017 at Jaipur by Rajasthan state minister for tourism, art and culture, Krushnendra Kaur , NC Goel, Additional Chief Secretary – Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, Rajendra Vijay, joint secetary, tourism department in Rajasthan government, Suman Billa and Dr Jyotsna Suri, chairman of the FICCI tourism committee.
Delivering his key note address at the fair, Goel pointed out that the State has already submitted proposals to the Union Tourism Ministry to the tune of Rs. 500 crores for developing innovative circuits like Spiritual, Heritage, Mega Desert, Tribal and Eco-Adventure. Some infrastructure projects under the schemes of PRASAD and SWADESH were also being developed.
Commenting on the report, MRSS India, chairman, Raj Sharma said, “This is our 2nd year of associating with the Great Indian Travel Bazaar, apart from studies undertaken for Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and now with Rajasthan. Our report has recommended a need to create a market intelligence system to track trends and competition as also the need for synergy with the neighbouring states.
Speaking on the occasion, Suri said that the Great Indian Travel Bazar is the most significant platform and the sole promoter of Inbound Tourism in India. Giving a snapshot of GITB over the past few years she highlighted that the number of buyers have increased from 260 to 275. There has also been significant rise in the number of B2B meetings from 3000 to 10,800 since it began.